Console PS4
Publisher Raw Fury AB
Developer EggNut
Genre Adventure , Role-playing (RPG)
Views 109
Downloads 36
Released June 8th, 2021
File size 2.15 GB
4/5 (1 vote)
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Backbone is a point-and-click adventure title borrowing some elements from role-playing games. Set in a dystopian vision of Vancouver, Canada, the player controls private investigator Howard Lotor. He is a raccoon and the whole cast consists of anthropomorphic animals such as apes, rats and rabbits. The game has a moody, post-noir atmosphere with a jazz soundtrack mixed with electronic elements. The bleak city of consists of many districts that each have their distinct inhabitants, from the factory workers in the Labor District to the bourgeois in Gastown and the technological elite in Science City. The lonely Howard gets by on small cases and the game starts when he is visited by a new client, Odette, who wants to hire him to get evidence that her husband Jeremy Green is cheating on her. His investigation leads him to a bar called The Bite where quickly he discovers much more sinister things than cheating are going on.

The game consists of five acts where Howard meets many characters and develops relationships with them over time. Especially in the early acts more traditional puzzle-solving is involved to make progress in the case. There are however some elements that borrow from other genres. Howard is for instance able to sprint and duck to hide. These stealth sections can lead to a fail state, but can always be replayed. Movement is controlled directly. More prominently, there are large dialogue sections where the player get to shape Howard as a character and his relationships. Choices have impact over time and can open or close doors permanently. This transcendences to the puzzle-solving. Parts of the game have multiple approaches where the player can pursue a specific one, or be pushed in a certain direction through the dialogue choices. Puzzle-solving is often done through deduction, conversations and careful observation of items in the environment. Certain items can be picked up, but they are used right away in the same environment as there is no inventory system. Many parts of the game also have conversations that have no influence on the story but to set the tone.

Despite the choices the game is ultimately entirely linear and in the final acts becomes closer to a visual novel with more focus on just the narrative. At any moment Howard can activate a detective mode to track the current objectives.

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